Ayanava Majumdar, 2012 Friends of IPM Award Winner
Future Leader

Ayanava Majumdar (center)An Extension Entomologist with the Alabama Cooperative Extension System, Dr. Majumdar has successfully trained farmers in IPM, with IPM adoption rates of 53% and an increase in understanding of up to 62%. He has developed communication tools to raise awareness of several invasive pests, including the Asian Citrus Psyllid, the vector of huanglongbing (citrus greening). Dr. Majumdar utilizes several forms of communication to relay information, including printed newsletters, blogs, webinars and site-specific workshops.

Dr. Majumdar is also one of the region's few IPM impact evaluation specialists. Last September, he led an evaluation workshop for the state IPM coordinators. He has also designed a logic model for IPM program evaluations in the southern region that researchers at Auburn are using to develop grant proposals.

Dr. Majumdar has broad responsibilities as an IPM expert in peanuts and vegetables (80% time commitment), and as a project evaluator on major IPM grants (20% time commitment). As an IPM professional, he has designed research and outreach programs for crop producers that have a high adoption rate (64%). Dr. Majumdar is also the State Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education (SARE) Coordinator where he focuses on increasing IPM adoption rate among small and low resource farmers (LRFs). In the past three years, he has made significant contributions to IPM program implementation, management and evaluation. His responsibilities also include, but are not limited to, i) development of state-wide insecticide recommendations and other publications for peanut & vegetable producers, ii) development of IPM training programs for farmers, consultants, industry, and Extension Agents, and iii) collaborative research with other faculty members. He has designed a Logic Model for standardizing IPM program evaluations in the southern region that is being used to develop a full grant proposal in partnership with evaluators at Oklahoma State and Texas A&M Universities.

For example, Alabama State Bulletin ANR-1341 was developed by us in a very short time as a response to the invasion of a non-native insect pest called the Asian Citrus Psyllid (ACP). In 2008, ACP was detected in Alabama for the first time and this insect threatens the citrus industry valued at millions of dollars, since the insect transmits a deadly bacterial disease to the citrus trees. Dr. Majumdar is a key member of the Alabama ACP Advisory Panel which coordinates public awareness campaigns and will be initiating critical research that will benefit the Alabama citrus industry. In December of 2009, Dr. Majumdar collaborated on an important press release describing threat from another invasive insect (Megacopta cribraria) which was headlined by the Alabama Farmers Federation. Dr. Majumdar has recently completed preliminary research on vegetable insect pests where he coordinated statewide insect monitoring program in 2009, 2010 and 2011, results of which were disseminated through THE IPM COMMUNICATOR newsletter – an award-wining team project headed by him as the Chief Editor. This newsletter is so important to Alabama producers that 20 authors (weed scientists, plant pathologists, fellow entomologists, and Extension Agents) contributed about 117 articles on a broad range of topics in 2010 and 2011.

Apart from the tremendous engagement of Dr. Majumdar in IPM implementation, he has strong skills in Extension program evaluations. He has worked closely with administrators of the American Evaluation Association (AEA) for developing the AEA365 Blog and participated in advanced training sessions. Dr. Majumdar conducts five evaluation capacity building workshops for ACES which has increased participation of Extension Agents and improved reporting on program implementation and impacts. Dr. Majumdar has a substantial presence on the Internet via Extension Web sites (270,000 hits per year) and social media networks (over 12,000 post views per year).